SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Educators and school staff across Spartanburg County prepared this week to welcome students back for the new school year on Monday.

At Drayton Mills Elementary School, first-grade teacher Ann Caudle spent Thursday preparing for the school’s meet-the-teacher day.

“I’ve got those first-day jitters just like the students do,” Caudle said.

By early Thursday afternoon, Caudle had already prepared several lesson plans and books for her incoming students. She had already assigned seats, prepared hand-out materials and decorated the desks in her room with a personal touch: bubbles.

It’s a trick the 19-year teaching veteran helps her students feel more at home in her class.

“When all else fails, you just pull out some bubbles and it’ll make you smile,” she said.

Across the school, other staff members prepared their rooms and lesson plans to welcome the school’s more than 700 students Monday.

“We routinely have parents come in and say, ‘Gosh, we’re so excited that you’re taking our children back,’ and we’re excited to be getting them back,” Principal Thomas Webster said. “I hope I’m able to convey just how exciting the first day of school is.”